Kiwanis talks cleanup and hears about Poverty Program

By Nathan Crock Inquirer Correspondent

July 10, 2014

On July 8, Kiwanis of Galion met. Members went over a number of topics and heard from guest speakers from the Getting Ahead Crawford County program.

The first topic of discussion was the recent highway cleanup last week. It was reported that six members showed up for the annual event. They covered their entire intended area of road outside of town. The group is planning on doing another highway cleanup sometime at the end of next month.

It was also announced by President Doug Greene that July is a fifth Tuesday fast month and that he will be placing donation cans and signs around town in the upcoming weeks. He said that he plans on changing the wording on the signs to indicate that one does not have to give up lunch, but can simply donate to the cause to fight hunger.

The guest speakers for the day were Tina Waller and Pastor Rick Maddox from the Getting Ahead in Crawford County Program. Maddox started off the program by giving some statistics on Crawford County. He said that 17.3 percent of citizens in the county live at or below the poverty line, one in six people are receiving food from a pantry, and 140 backpack foods go out to children every weekend.

Maddox said that these people are in need of assistance. He stated that the Getting Ahead Crawford County helps to provide them with this assistance by having individuals complete a 16-week program that encourages the participant to analyze one’s own life and make plans for building personal and family resources.

The first step in entering the program is by completing the application process. Once accepted into the program, individuals enter the program which helps with the long-term goal for them to become employed and self-sufficient. There is an incentive to attend the class as they will receive some money upon completion of the program.

Waller said that the 16 weeks is just the beginning, adding that after they have completed the course, persons are set up with an ally. The ally does 18 months of follow-up work. Their job is to help the individual accomplish his or her goal by helping them understand certain social rules. Some of those rules include what to wear to work and to be on time for the job. They will are also taught how to save money and have a plan for the future.

The program is currently taking applications as well as looking for more volunteers and donations. They are having an introduction program on Aug. 5 at the Galion Alliance Church at 7 p.m. All are invited to attend this informational meeting. The course itself will be offered at the Free Methodist Church in Galion. The program will take place in the evenings, with dinner served to the whole family. Child care will be provided by on-site supervision, and some transportation will be provided to participants.

For anyone wanting to obtain more information the Getting Ahead Crawford County program can be reached at (419) 562-9010.